My husband, Bill, and I recently took a baby care class at Woman’s Hospital. The official name for the class is “After Baby Comes (ABC): Baby Care and Parent Care. I’m now about two months from my due date, and with the holidays on the horizon we elected to go ahead and take the class in October.
A word about our prior “experience” with babies: I’m a typical gal who loves to hold babies and who did her fair share of baby-sitting growing up. I also have seven younger cousins; so for the majority of my childhood, there was at least one baby hanging around. But I’ll admit that I’ve probably changed one diaper in the past five years and really am lacking in a lot of knowledge. I have the books, which I’ve been perusing in recent months; but I was excited to take a crash course, if only to get an idea of how behind I was. My husband is an only child who was not around many young children growing up. His cousins are close to him in age and he never baby-sat. We have a few friends who have lovely children now; so he has had some contact with babies, but it’s been fairly limited. So we decided a class was in order.
We chose to take the 12:30pm – 5:30pm class on a Sunday afternoon as opposed to taking a two-day class during the week. The class was full, mostly of couples, but of a few ladies by themselves. The instructor was a registered nurse who did a great job. The first part of the class focused on what to expect postpartum, and the second part centered on caring for your new baby. The instructor taught most of the time, though occasionally she played us a short video.
The postpartum segment of the class was not necessarily as fun as the second part, but I was glad that the instructor and the videos were frank and honest about what to expect. They addressed issues facing women recovering from both vaginal and caesarian deliveries, and provided useful tips for how to make yourself more comfortable during the healing process.
The second half of the class focused on infant care. We practiced dressing, diapering and swaddling a doll, which was really fun, and I had a great time watching my husband take his turn. I must say, he did great! I think he’s going to be a natural! We talked about everything from which products are useful and which ones may be a waste of money to how to care for an umbilical cord stump, as well as how often to feed and bathe your baby. The instructor was great about answering questions and she was also available during breaks to talk.
Afterward, walking out to our car, we both remarked about how much more prepared we felt and how much more excited we were about our son’s impending arrival. We’ve been excited, of course, this entire pregnancy; but something about the class made it feel a lot more real. It is something I would recommend to any first-time parent.
What is the one thing you wished you’d learned before having your first child?
I learned so much in that class too! I had zero knowledge on babies–I’d actually probably need to go back for our next one too, haha.
I also LOVED the breastfeeding class that they offer–I referenced so much of that material my first week at home that I credit a lot of my success to the instructor telling us the ups and downs of breastfeeding and what to expect.
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